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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact:

Dr Julie Marfany

Contact Dr Julie Marfany (email at

Julie Marfany works on European economic and social history, with a special focus on Spain. She is particularly interested in the question of divergence within Europe and to what extent economic and social change in southern Europe has been distinct from that of northern Europe. Her book An alternative transition to capitalism? Land, proto-industry and population growth in Catalonia, c.1680-1829 investigated why Catalonia industrialised ahead of other areas of southern Europe, and how economic and social change was experienced at the level of the household and family. Her current research explores family, kinship and poor relief in southern Europe. She has broad research interests in the history of the family and household, wealth, poverty and living standards, population growth and the origins of the industrial revolution. She has had research fellowships and teaching posts at Cambridge and Oxford, and is editor of the journal Continuity and Change.

Research Interests

  • Poverty, poor relief and charity
  • Family and household
  • Living standards and wellbeing
  • Particular focus on southern Europe

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Marfany, Julie (2012). Land, proto-industry and population in Catalonia, c.1680-1829. An alternative transition to capitalism?. Farnham: Ashgate.

Chapter in book

  • Marfany, Julie (2018). Family and welfare in early modern Europe: a north-south comparison. In Population, welfare and economic change in Britain, c.1270-1834: historical studies. Briggs, C., Thompson, S. & Kitson, P. Boydell and Brewer.
  • Marfany, Julie (2013). Proto-industrialisation, property rights and the land market in Catalonia, 18th and early 19th centuries. In Property rights, the land market and economic change. Schofield, Phillipp & Béaur, Gérard Brussels: Brepols.
  • Marfany, Julie, Congost, Rosa & Ferrer, Llorenç (2012). The formation of new households and social change in a single heir system: the Catalan case, 17th to 19th centuries. In Inheritance practices, marriage strategies and household formation in European rural societies. Pozsgai, P. & Head-König, A-L. Brussels: Brepols.
  • Marfany, Julie (2010). Els canvis en el costum: Igualada en el segle XVIII. In Els capítols matrimonials. Una font per a la història social. Massana, R. Ros Girona: CCG edicions.

Journal Article

  • Marfany, Julie (2018). Adapting to new markets: the income and expenditure of a Catalan peasant family, 1686 to 1812. Agricultural History Review 66(1): 18-42.
  • Carbonell-Esteller, Montserrat & Marfany, Julie (2017). Gender, life cycle, and family ‘strategies’ among the poor: the Barcelona workhouse, 1762–1805. The Economic History Review 70(3): 810-836.
  • Marfany, Julie (2011). Was there an industrious revolution in Catalonia? Zeitschrift für Agrargeschichte und Agrarsoziologie 59(2).
  • Marfany, Julie (2010). Is it still helpful to talk about proto-industrialisation? Some suggestions from a Catalan case study. Economic History Review 63(4).
  • Marfany, Julie (2006). Choices and constraints: marriage and inheritance in eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Catalonia. Continuity and Change 21(1).
  • Marfany, Julie (2005). Las crisis de mortalidad en una comunidad catalana, Igualada, 1680-1819. Revista de Demografía Histórica 23(2).
  • Marfany, Julie (2004). ‘Casarse en edad apropriada’ edat al matrimoni i estratègies matrimonials a Catalunya, 1680-1829. Miscellanea Aqualatensia 11.

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